The Brooklyn Nets notched another signature win Tuesday night, defeating the Miami Heat on the road 88-87 to complete their 4-game season sweep of the series. This is the first time the Heat have lost 4 games in a season to a team since acquiring the Big 3. To make it sound worse, the Nets are actually 6-0 vs. Miami if you count the preseason games. Mason Plumlee was a big part of the win as he recorded a huge block on Lebron James right before the buzzer. Joe Johnson led the Nets with 19 points, but Marcus Thornton had 16 huge points off the bench too. Lebron James scored 29 for Miami, but didn’t get much support from his teammates.
Even though this win probably won’t matter in terms of regular season seeding, as the Nets are likely locked into the 5-seed, it is still a huge win. Even though the Heat didn’t have Dwyane Wade, the Nets didn’t have Kevin Garnett, who was given the night off, and Andray Blatche, who has the flu. Even though Jason Collins is on the roster, he didn’t receive a minute of playing time, so Brooklyn’s only true center was Mason Plumlee, and he did a heck of a job in that role tonight.
Player grades and notes:
Mason Plumlee: A
Plumlee had a really good game, not even considering the game saving block. He played an effective first quarter and didn’t get into foul trouble. He only had 2 fouls in 30 minutes tonight, a huge improvement on what we’ve seen. He finished with 8 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 blocks, including the big one at the end. It’s pretty amazing how much he has improved this season.
Paul Pierce: B-
Pierce picked up 2 cheap fouls in the third quarter and didn’t do too much after that. He hit one big 3 in the fourth quarter, but he was happy just going with the flow of the offense and didn’t force any bad shots.
Deron Williams/Shaun Livingston: C-
The point guards had a surprisingly horrible game, and yet the Nets still found a way to win! They combined for just 12 points and 7 assists while turning the ball over 6 times. Deron Williams was especially bad, and even 1-4 from the foul line.
Joe Johnson: A-
Joe Johnson kept the Nets in this game as he often does when the offense is stalled. He finished with 19 points but it should have been much more because refs were just not calling fouls on Heat players when they were guarding him. He must’ve gotten fouled on a shooting attempt 3 or 4 times in the fourth quarter and none of them were called. Still, he had an excellent game.
Marcus Thornton: A
Thornton did more in this game than Jason Terry and Reggie Evans did combined while with Brooklyn this season. He had 16 points, 6 rebounds, 4 steals, and a block while shooting 6-8 from the field and 4-5 from 3. He was in the game with the starters in crunch time and made a big 3 there, too. He has been a huge part of at least 4 or 5 Nets wins already since getting traded to the team.
The Nets look to sweep the road trip tomorrow night in Orlando. FRWD will have full coverage of the game.